Together we can turn Pfand and glass waste into donations for People on the Move.
What the F*ck is Pfandraising?
Pfandraising is a replacement to our current system for Pfand (deposit on bottles sold). It works as follows: you collect, and we donate an amount of €0.10 for every bottle handed in. It doesn't matter whether you return a bottle you bought at the bar or if you dispose of the bottles you brought with you in the glass container. With your help, our goal is to generate at least €100,000 in donations for refugees and migrants.
Pfandraising also helps us to keep our festival clean. Every year, hundreds of thousands of bottles are sold at our bars and stalls, and 70,000 Fusionists also bring many, many bottles of their own. This should stay that way. But many bottles mean a lot of glass waste. Pfandraising presents a sustainable and solidarity-based solution to the problems we’ve experienced of the last few years.
How Pfandraising works
The rules of Pfandraising are simple:
Dispose of your own bottles in a glass container.
Bring bottles sold at the bar, back to the bar.
To motivate you and other Fusionists to help with this mission, Kulturkosmos will donate €0.10 for every empty bottle you dispose of or return to the bar. That might not sound like a lot at first, but if everyone pitches in and picks up a few bottles from the floor and disposes of them or brings them back to the bar, a donation of 100,000 euros + X is absolutely realistic across Fusion weekend.
For all those who come to the bar without a bottle to return, each new bottle at the bar costs €0.50 extra. This €0.50 “Solidarity Coin” will then be added to the collective donation pot.
Pfandraising - a quick overview:
You’re done with the bottle you brought along with you? Throw it in the container.
At the end of the festival, we take the weight of the glass and donate €0.10 for the corresponding weight of every bottle that we collect.
You have an empty bottle that was bought from the bar? Return it to the bar or to a collection point.
We donate €0.10 per bottle. You pay nothing.
You arrive at the bar without a bottle to return?
You pay €0.50 per new bottle if you don't bring an empty bottle with you in exchange.
Where do I put my empty bottle?
If you bought your bottle at the bar, it's best to bring it back there. If you brought your own bottles or don't know where they came from, take them to one of the many collection points on the festival site. At the collection points you will find containers for waste glass bottles and also boxes for bottles bought from the bar.
How do you get to the €100,000 + X figure?
We’ve partied at Fusion with you for a number of years now and this means we’re able to estimate how many bottles circulate around the site and are returned or disposed of at the end. The rest is mathematics. Basically, there are three categories:
1. Bottles from the bars
We assume that at the end of Fusion we will return about 500,000 bottles to the drinks wholesalers via the bars. Since we donate €0.10 per bottle, this gives a total donation of about €50,000.
2. The “Solidarity Coin”
If you arrive at the bars without a bottle to give back, you will be charged €0.50 per bottle that you buy. Of course, we can't say exactly how much money will be collected by this in total. But we assume that a 5-digit sum can be added to the collective pot.
3. Waste disposed in the glass container
After the festival, all the glass waste goes into the recycling and is accurately weighed. We then calculate the donation amount by its corresponding weight in bottles. One tonne of glass waste corresponds to 2,500 bottles. With an average of 150 tonnes of broken glass per festival, this amounts to €37,500 in donations in glass waste alone.
Throwing bottles away in the glass container? Doesn't really sound that sustainable…!
If Fusion wasn't such a huge festival with thousands of visitors, we would do things differently. But the experience of the last few years has shown that returning all bottles is logistically impossible, and also costs way more in terms of resources than it saves. By recycling the glass waste, we create a fair compromise between sustainability and feasibility. The process saves a large amount of energy and CO2 compared to new production, because new glass is produced again from all the old glass waste.
Where do the donations go?
We have decided that our donations should go to anti-racist projects for People on the Move. 80% of the donations go to the Safe Passage Foundation and 20% to Medibüros in Berlin and Hamburg.
The Safe Passage Foundation supports projects and organisations that are actively involved in helping refugees at the external borders of the EU. This also includes sea rescue by organisations such as Sea Watch e.V. or Solidarity at Sea.
The Medibüros form a network who fight for the right to health care for all migrants. As a self-organised, non-governmental and donor-funded project, the initiative aims to improve health care on a political and practical level for refugees and migrants.